They won’t have to face the Kamloops Rattlers. They could, depending on results, play the Kelowna Raiders for a ninth time this year.
Instead, the Armstrong Shamrocks will face three unfamiliar foes in the preliminary round of the 10-team 2015 Provincial Invitational Senior C Lacrosse Championships which open tonight at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre and Hassen Arena.
“It’s refreshing to play different teams,” said Shamrocks captain Chad Pounder. “It’ll be nice not to play the same guys who know every move you make.”
Armstrong opens tonight at 7:30 against the Ladner Pioneers. The Shamrocks face the Victoria Jokers Saturday at noon and the Prince George Bandits at 8 p.m. All of the Shamrocks’ preliminary games are at Nor-Val.
The top four teams in the tournament will make Sunday’s semifinals at 9 a.m. (both arenas) with the two winners playing for gold at 3 p.m. at Nor-Val, and the two losers going for bronze at 2 p.m. at Hassen.
Here’s some information on the 10 participating teams:
Port Moody Express
The Express were dethroned last year as provincial champions. They will look to WCSLL scoring champion Cam Comeau to lead them on offence, while shutdown defender Devon Magnusson and goalie Craig Mcfeeters will lead the defence.
Westwood Pub Devils
The Devils are the defending provincial champion, and have reeled off 42 straight wins dating back two seasons. Players to watch are former Calgary Roughneck Scott Anderson, Cam Braun, Danton Nicholson, and the strong goalie tandem of Jamie Bellamy and Steve Brizan.
Prince George BX Pub Bandits
The Bandits are led by the dynamic duo of Drew Doig, and Damon Calfa. The provincial championship trophy is named after Drew’s grandfather Fred.
Maple Ridge Attack
The Attack are a new team to the provincial tournament. They will look to former Kelowna Jr Braves forward Jarrett Neigum to do their scoring, while the defense will be led by veteran goalie Brandon Smith.
North Shore Indians
North Shore makes their way to Armstrong for the first time; they have a solid mix of veterans, and young players. They will be led by all-world forward Marcus Wooden, Troy Baker, and APTN Native Planet host Simon Baker.
Players to watch on their roster are 18-year-old goalie Phil Haladky from the Czech Republic, Cam Kirkbride and Gavan Sand.
The Jokers are the first Vancouver Island team in 10 years to compete in the tournament. The fans should recognize former Vernon Jr Tigers captain Kurt Bronson on defence.
The Mohawks are also a combined team with the Calgary Irish. They are the Alberta Senior C silver medalists and players to watch on their roster are Tyler Weber, Riley Damen, and goaltender Angus Jenkins.
The Raiders head into provincials coming off a close final series with Armstrong. They will look to wear teams down with their strong defensive play, and exploit teams with their strong power-play. Players to watch are Pho Heng, Brendan Urban, Joe Brown, and goalie Graham Cousins.
The Shamrocks will look to build on their TOSLL championship and continue their steady play in the tournament. Players to watch are TOSLL scoring champion Andrew Schwab, Jarrett Medhurst, Bayne Bosquet, and speedy Kas Boudreau.